Rentable Helmets Will Be Available At Some Hubway Stations in September
The availability of single-use helmets at various Hubway stations throughout the city has been pushed back more than once, but the company teaming up with the bike-share program to dole out the head gear finally confirmed that their product is ready for launch in less than two weeks.
On September 5, the long-awaited HelmetHub vending machines will start popping up next to a select few stations, when Mayor Tom Menino, Boston Public Health Commissioner Barbara Ferrer, Nicole Freedman, director of Boston Bikes, and the founder of the helmet sharing company, Chris Mills, unveil one of the kiosks along Boylston Street.
There will be four solar-powered helmet vending machines stationed at some of the most popular Hubway rental spots at the beginning of next month, making Boston the first city in the nation to offer rentable helmets to cyclists using the state-of-the art technology.
Born out of MIT, HelmetHub kiosks can hold 36 helmets, and relies on touch-screen technology to deploy the safety gear to riders on the move.
Once a user is finished with a helmet rental they can return it to a designated machine, where it will be sent to the company’s headquarters to be sanitized before going back out in the city for the next rider to wear. According to the company:
Anytime a helmet is dispensed or collected, each machine sends that information to a server, allowing program operators to track supply levels and collect data on helmet usage, all in real-time.
Officials hope to soon have one station per region of Boston, so they can have the most impact on increasing helmet use.
To read more about HelmetHub, and what the city has planned, check out an interview with Freedman, the city’s “bike czar,” from May. For additional updates about the company’s launch, in coordination with the city, follow @Helmet_Hub on Twitter.